Proposed Legislation to Ease Burdens for Event Organizers

October 17, 2013  

New Bill to Change City Insurance Requirements, Remove Barriers to Events in Jacksonville

The Mayor’s Office has filed legislation (2013-695) to ease the burden of ordinance requirements on organizers and vendors hosting special events. The proposed legislation modifies insurance regulations, gives further discretion to city officials and allows for quicker approval of permits for events.

“This legislation protects taxpayers while removing some of the barriers local businesses and organizations face when hosting a special event in our city,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “We listened to the concerns from the community and are taking action to streamline the process of making Jacksonville more vibrant.”

The City’s Risk Management Division met with community stakeholders, nonprofit organizations, businesses, local officials and City Council members to hear concerns that the City’s insurance code requirements can be cost-prohibitive and burdensome. Mayor Brown, Risk Manager Twane Duckworth, and Director of Special Events Tonisha Gaines also gathered feedback from stakeholders at the Mayor’s Nonprofit Forum on Monday, Oct. 14.
"The activation of Downtown through events is a key revitalization tool that showcases Downtown to the community and supports the businesses that have invested in Downtown," said Terry Lorince, executive director of Downtown Vision, Inc. "We applaud the City for streamlining the permitting process and removing barriers to make it easier to hold events Downtown."
“Events are the mortar to the development of our Downtown and quality of life in our city. I applaud the Offices of Economic Development, Risk Management and Special Events for proactively looking at ways to make producing events much more streamlined and ergonomic,” said Tony Allegretti, director of Downtown Engagement for JAX Chamber. “We’ve seen through events like One Spark, Art Walk and RAM that we can pull off ambitious, game-changing events that spur economic growth and vibrancy. This legislation opens the door to more creativity and innovation with regards to how we gather and celebrate our significant quality of life.”
“We are incredibly pleased with the City’s efforts to streamline the events permitting process,” said Krysten Bennett, director of Riverside Arts Market. “This initiative complements their efforts to attract more residents and visitors to our public spaces and Urban Core, and supports the numerous organizations, including the Riverside Arts Market, who are committed to engaging our community and to improving our city’s quality of life.” 

The proposed legislation aims to:

  • Allow further discretion by the Sheriff’s Office, Fire & Rescue and Risk Management regarding public safety and insurance requirements
  • Provide clearer qualifications for special events
  • Provide quicker conditional approvals for permits
  • Allow payment City personnel costs closer to the event date
  • Modify insurance requirements in the ordinance code to include:
    • Elimination of the waiver of subrogation requirement
    • Requiring automobile coverage only when use is more than incidental to the event
The legislation was filed with City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 16, and is currently scheduled to come before council committees during the week of Nov. 18.